The Austin College women’s basketball team jumped out to a big lead early but had to hold off Hendrix late to earn a 57-54 win on Thursday evening in Hughey Gym.

The Austin College women’s basketball team jumped out to a big lead early but had to hold off Hendrix late to earn a 57-54 win on Thursday evening in Hughey Gym.


The ‘Roos (3-4) sprinted out to a 13-0 lead, having their way in the paint to get five quick buckets and adding at three pointer from Erin Riley before the Warriors finally got on the board with a pair of free throws with 15:13 left in the opening half. The lead grew to 17-3 on a jumper from Riley before Hendrix started to chip away, trimming the margin to 22-12 with 9:11 remaining before the break.


The Warriors capped off their comeback with a basket to open the second half and square things at 29 but Austin College got five points from Christina Kime and Kendall Heitmeier knocked down a three to push it to a 41-31 game with 14:06 to play.


Cait Kriesel-Bigler hit a three to pull the Warriors to within three at 44-41 with just over nine minutes left, but Riley answered with two more threes and Heitmeier drilled another trey of her own to make it 53-43 with 5:56 on the clock. However, Kriesel-Bigler capped off another run by Hendrix with a three to cut it to a 55-54 game with 43 seconds left.


Hendrix got the ball back down one and drew a foul with just two seconds left, but couldn’t knock down a free throw, allowing Austin College to escape with the 57-54 win.


Riley hit 7-of-14 overall and four threes on her way to 18 points, 11 rebounds, four assists, and two steals to lead the ‘Roos and Heitmeier came off the bench to score 10 points and grab four boards. Brittany Stepanski added eight points and eight boards, and Brooke Melton had six points, eight boards, three assists, and three blocks for Austin College, which hosts Oglethorpe at 1 p.m. on Saturday.


Kriesel-Bigler had 15 to lead the Warriors, while Jamie Tate scored 10 and pulled down a game-high 16 rebounds in the loss.


Men


Austin College 81, Hendrix 61


The Austin College men’s basketball team had 15 blocked shots, 11 steals, and held Hendrix to just 27 percent shooting as they cruised to victory on Thursday evening in Hughey Gym.


The ‘Roos (3-3) jumped out to a 13-4 lead early following five quick points from Jordan Hancock and Austin College swatted away seven Hendrix shots in the game’s opening six minutes to help build that early lead.


Hendrix battled back to square things up at 18 apiece with 9:24 remaining, but a bucket by Hancock, a three from Jeremy Swisher, a tip from Alan Sullivan, and two free throws from Cody Meyers accounted for a 9-0 run to make it a 27-18 game with 5:47 left before the break.


Swisher knocked down another trey and completed a three point play to help extend the lead to 35-24, but the Warriors used a quick 5-2 spurt to end the half trailing 36-29. Austin College wasted little time pushing the lead back to double digits as the second half opened, with Brian Baehl scoring seven and Ransom Okpala adding four, and a Kevin Graham three made it 50-35 with 16:07 left in the game.


Okpala scored six more and Baehl added another short jumper, and Sullivan drilled a three as the ‘Roos pushed the margin to 61-43 with 10:11 remaining. Hendrix battled back to cut it to a 61-50 game with 8:19 left, but Okpala scored two more baskets and a Meyers three pointer pushed it back to a 70-56 game with just over five minutes left.


Okpala scored all 21 of his points in the second half and added 11 rebounds, five steals, four assists, and two blocks to lead the ‘Roos. Hancock finished with 14 points, Swisher had 12 points and Baehl added 11 points while Alvin Michael blocked eight shots for Austin College.


Jordan Barrett came off the bench to score 19 to lead Hendrix, while Will Roland added 12 and Alec Conard had 10 in the loss.